Dual education - knowledge for the future

Local news, 23.12.2019

The Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Serbia (CCIS) organized a large conference on dual education in Belgrade on 23 December 2019. The aim of the conference, entitled “Dual education – knowledge for the future” was to present experience thus far with dual education implementation to representatives of the private sector, schools and other partners and institutions involved. Overall, 1,500 people were present, including the President of the state.

“Dual education – knowledge for the future” conference
“Dual education – knowledge for the future” conference ©Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia

The current state of play in respect to dual education was explained by the President of the Chamber of Commerce Marko Cadez, and the Minster of Education Mladen Sarcevic.

The main key-note speaker was Swiss Prof. Dr. Ursula Renold of the ETH Zurich KOF institute. Dr. Renold compared the system in Serbia with Switzerland and some other countries and emphasized the importance of close cooperation between the education sector and the private sector. Namely, modern times call for evidence-based reforms of the education system and dual education can be one of the instruments to overcome the challenges of fast technological development. She focused on research which shows that the return on investment is evident for all companies involved in dual education.

Another guest speaker was Noel Ginsburg from Colorado, of the non-government institution CareerWise. He shared his experience in cooperating with companies during the introduction dual education in his state.

The conference was closed with the address of Aleksandar Vucic, the President of the Republic of Serbia who emphasized that dual education not only brings regular income to families, but also an increased sense of responsibility and seriousness. The President called on companies to get involved and congratulated the schools that are ready to work on changing their programs and way of working.

According to the CCIS, dual education in Serbia constitutes 10% of secondary vocational education, and dual profiles make up 16% of all the profiles, while 18% of all schools have dual profiles in their programs. In 2013-2014, 400 students followed education with elements of dual programs in 16 schools, in 3 profiles with 40 companies. In 2018-2019, there were already 4,500 students educated in 33 profiles, in 80 schools with 600 involved companies.

The Law on Dual Education (2017) came into force in September 2019. The Swiss project “Policy advice for an efficient reform of dual education in Serbia”(Policy VET), implemented by the Serbian Centre for Education Policy with support of the above mentioned KOF Institute under the lead of Professor Renold, is focused on three aspects of the reform: legal, monitoring and evaluation and communication. So far the project has supported the development of the Masterplan for the implementation of the Law on Dual Education, the establishment of the secretariat for the national Commission of dual education and the design of the necessary by-laws. The total budget of the Policy VET project is EUR 1,700,000, of which EUR 830,000 is contributed by the Government of Serbia, and EUR 870,000 by the Government of Switzerland.

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